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UPDATED: March 12, 2007 Xinhua
Our Historical Tasks at the Primary Stage of Socialism and Several Issues Concerning China's Foreign Policy
The Chinese premier said that to build a country of more than one billion people into a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious modern socialist country is an unprecedented endeavor in human history
Wen Jiabao

Cultural diversity should be respected. There are more than 2,000 ethnic groups in the world. Human civilization has evolved and enriched itself through interactions among different ethnic communities. Diversity of world culture and civilization has existed for centuries and will remain so in the future. Science, democracy, legal system, freedom and human rights are not something peculiar to capitalism. Rather, they are common values pursued by mankind in the long historical process and they are fruit of human civilization created by mankind. It is only that at different historical stages and in different countries, they are achieved through different means and in different forms. There is not just one model for the realization of these values. The diversity of civilization is a reality, whether you face it or not. It is the coexistence, interaction and convergence of different cultures that have promoted human progress. Cultural diversity in the world should be recognized. Different cultures should not discriminate against, be hostile to or exclude each other. They should respect and draw on each other's strength, and this will make it possible to create a harmonious and colorful human culture.

China should take its own path in enhancing democracy. We never view socialism and democracy as something that is mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, we see a high degree of democracy and well developed legal system as the inherent requirement of socialism and a key important feature of a mature socialist system. We are fully capable of building China into a country of democracy and rule of law under socialist conditions. We should explore ways to develop democracy with Chinese characteristics in light of China's particular conditions. We should focus on efforts to promote economic development, protect lawful rights and interests of the people, fight corruption, increase public trust in government, strengthen government functions and enhance social harmony. And we should continue the reform in the political system by expanding democracy and improving the legal system. This will enable other members of the international community to better appreciate and accept the path of development taken by the Chinese people.

We should fully improve the educational level of the Chinese people. This means giving a high priority to the development of education. The government must work with a stronger sense of responsibility to extend and consolidate compulsory education. More efforts should be made to develop vocational education and improve higher education. The scientific and cultural level of the whole Chinese nation should be uplifted. That requires a major effort to foster values and ethics among the people and accelerate the establishment of a system of values and ethics which is in keeping with the socialist market economy and which carries forward the traditional virtues and values of the Chinese nation. In particular, high priority should be placed on fostering a sense of honesty and integrity so that the public will have greater sense of integrity and credibility. In international exchanges, we should be credible and trustworthy, act in good faith and honor commitment. Thus, we need to ask people to act in a civilized way in their contacts with foreigners, respect local laws, regulations and customs and behave properly in public places overseas so that they will contribute to promoting China's culture and its image. As more Chinese are traveling overseas, we should strengthen foreign-affairs administration and crack down hard on crimes such as smuggling, human trafficking and drug trafficking to ensure order in people-to-people exchanges.

We should expand cultural exchanges with other countries. Cultural exchanges are a bridge connecting the hearts and minds of people of all countries and an important way to project a country's image. The rich and profound Chinese culture, which has a time-honored history, has made significant contribution to the progress of human civilization. The traditional Chinese culture is noted for its many luminous ideas: the philosophical precept of "harmony without uniformity", the political belief that "people is the foundation of the nation", the educational guideline of "respecting teachers and valuing education", and the moral ethic of "do not do to others what you would not have them do to you". We should use various forms and means, including tour performance and exhibition, Chinese language teaching, academic exchange and sponsoring culture year activities, to promote Chinese culture and increase its appeal overseas. We should implement a "going global" cultural strategy, develop culture industry, improve the international competitiveness of Chinese cultural enterprises and products, increase the export of books, films, TV programs and other cultural products, so that these Chinese cultural products and particularly the best of them, will reach the rest of the world.

We should conduct public diplomacy in a more effective way. We should inform the outside world of the achievements we have made in reform, opening-up and modernization in a comprehensive, accurate and timely manner. At the same time, we should be frank about the problems we have. We should be good at using flexible and diversified ways in conducting public diplomacy programs. We should use persuasive ways to communicate with the international community to ensure that our message is effectively put across. We should work to enable the international community to develop an objective and balanced view on China's development and international role, so as to foster an environment of friendly public opinion for China.

(Source: China Daily, 2007-03-05)


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